Record

Authorised form of nameDesaguliers; John Theophilus (1683 - 1744); natural philosopher
Dates1683 - 1744
NationalityFrench
Place of birthLa Rochelle, France
Date of birth10 or 13 March 1683
Place of deathHis lodgings at the Bedford Coffee House, Covent Garden
Date of death29 February 1744
Dates and placesBurial:
The Savoy Chapel, Strand, Westminster
OccupationClergyman, Church of England; Natural Philosopher and Engineer
Research fieldExperimental natural philosophy
ActivityEducation:
Christ Church, Oxford); Hart Hall, Oxford. BA (1709), MA (1712), DCL (1719). Incorporated LLD at Cambridge (1726)
Career:
Brought to England by his parents after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, he was rumoured to have been smuggled on board ship in a barrel (1685); Assistant in his father's school at Islington, Middlesex; ordained deacon (1710); Lecturer on Experimental Philosophy at Hart Hall (1710); Demonstrator and Curator to the Royal Society (1714); Chaplain to James Brydges, Duke of Chandos (FRS 1694) (1714); Rector of Little Stanmore, Middlesex (1715-1744); Rector of Bridgham, Norfolk (1717-1726); Chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales (c1717); Rector of Little Warley, Essex (1727-1744); lectured and performed experiments before a wide audience at his London house and later in Holland (1730), where he drew the interest of Herman Boerhaave (FRS 1730)
Memberships:
Freemason, Member, Lodge no 3 at Horn Tavern Westminster, London, subsequently Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No 4; Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge, nicknamed the 'Moderns' 1719;
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election29/07/1714
ProposerSir Hans Sloane
Sir Isaac Newton
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Copley Medal 1734, 1736 and 1741
RelationshipsSon of John Desaguliers, protestant pastor, of Aitre, France, and later Minister of the French Chapel, Swallow Street, London; married Joanna Pudsey
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Venn; Foster
References:
Henry Guerlac, 'Newton's Optical Aether: his Draft of a Proposed Addition to his Opticks' in NR 1967 vol 22 pp 45-57
J A Lohne, 'Experimentum Crucis' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 169-199
Stephen F Mason, 'The Spring-Tide of Experimental Philosophy', review of Marie Boas Hall, Promoting Experimental Learning: Experiment and the Royal Society, 1660-1727 in NR 1992 vol 46 pp 313-316
Alan Q Morton, 'Previous Public Perceptions of Science', review of Larry Stewart, The Rise of Public Science: Rhetoric, Technology and Natural Philosophy in Newtonian Britain, 1660-1750 and Jan Golinski, Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820 in NR 1994 vol 48 pp 157-159
John H Appleby, 'Human Curiosities and the Royal Society, 1699-1751' in NR 1996 vol 50 pp 13-27
Marta Cavazza, 'The Institute of Science of Bologna and the Royal Society in the eighteenth century' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 3-25, plate
'Gentleman's Magazine' 1744, p168
P Fontes da Costa, 'The Culture of Curiosity at The Royal Society in the first half of the eighteenth century', NR 2002 vo l56 pp 147-166
J P Zinsser, 'The ultimate commentary: a consideration of I Bernhard Cohen's Guide to Newton's Principia' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 231-238
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry 'Freemasons and the Royal Society; Alphabetical List of Fellows of the Royal Society who were Freemasons' 2010, page 26
Notes:
DSB provides birth and death dates, 12 March 1683 and 10 March 1744 respectively. Venn gives death date as 29 February 1744
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/37090620
Royal Society codeNA8419
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/005303Desaguliers, John Theophilus1989/90
CLP/18ii/43Paper, Further discussion of the appearance of the horizontal moon by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1735]
EL/R1/72Letter, from Paolo Rolli to [John Theophilus] Desagulier1729
CLP/18ii/1Paper, 'An experiment in order to determine what degree of heat is required to melt some metals' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers7 April 1714
CLP/18ii/44Paper, Experiment to show that some damps in mines might be occasioned only by the burning of candles underground without the addition of any noxious vapour, even when the bottom of the pit has a communication with the outward air, unless the outward air be forcibly driven in at the said pipe by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1735
EL/S2/56Letter, from Raphael Sedgwick communicated to the Royal Society by Dr [John Theophilus] Desaguliers19 March 1724
RBO/11/41'Mercury in the Barometer' by J Desaguliers1721
RBO/11/96'Account of the Appearance of the Matter of the Small Pox seen thro' a Microscope' by J Desaguliers13 June 1723
RBO/11/37'Remarks on Some attempts made towards a perpetual Motion' by John Desaguliers1721
RBO/17/25'Account of some magnetical Experiments' by John Theophilus Desaguliers1732
MM/20/36Letter from Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr to Cromwell Mortimer, Secretary, Royal Society27 December 1740
RBO/19/42'An Account of some new Statical Experiments' by Dr Desaguliers1735
CLP/18ii/41Paper, Account of some magnetical experiments by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1732
CLP/18ii/40Paper, Description of an invention to confine steam when boiling liquids by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers, Daniel Nible, and William Uream1721
RBO/14/45'Giving some Account of a french Paper relating to the Application of the Doctrine of Proportions to negative Quantities etc' in a letter from the Reverend Desaguliers to William Rutty1728
CLP/18ii/34Paper, Some thoughts concerning electricity by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers3 June 1731
RBO/13/28An account of an experiment to show a syphon running in vacuo by J Desaguliers 1728
CLP/18ii/3Paper, 'An experiment made before the Royal Society' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers13 May 1714
CLP/18ii/22Paper, Account of an experiment showing a syphon running in vacuo by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1727]
CLP/18ii/32Paper, Account of two experiments showing friction of pullies by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1730]
LBO/18/76Copy letter from John Theophilus Desaguliers 29 April 1735
LBO/20/13Copy abstract of a letter from Doctor Muschenbrock, Utrecht, to John Theophilus Desaguliers 15 January 1732/1733
LBO/21/50Copy letter from Mr Friewald, Stockhlom, to John Theophilus Desaguliers1 November 1732
NLB/60/654Copy letter from William Bate Hardy, Secretary of the Royal Society; to J. D. Milner Esquire; National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Place, Charing Cross, W.C.10 March 1921
CLP/18ii/29Paper, Examination of Perault's axis 'in peritrochio' said to be void of friction by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1729]
CLP/18ii/27Paper, Proposition on the balance not taken notice of by mechanical writers explained and confirmed by an experiment before the Royal Society by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1729]
CLP/18ii/46Paper, New experiments with ice taken from Abbe Noler at Paris and communicated by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1736]
CLP/18ii/33Paper, Account of an experiment explaining a mechanical paradox by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1731]
CLP/18ii/31Paper, Experiment to show that the friction of the several parts in a compound engine can be reduced to calculation by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1730]
CLP/18ii/21Paper, Paper, Account of a machine for measuring the depth of the sea by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1727]
CLP/18ii/8Paper, 'Some new magnetical experiments' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1715
L&P/1/228Letter, 'A request for an imprimatur for the second volume of his course of experimental philosophy' from John Theophilus Desaguliers to the Royal Society1743
CLP/18ii/19Paper, Account of several experiments concerning the running of water in pipes by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1726]
CLP/7ii/5/2Figures, geometry relating to the Earth by John Theophilus Desaguliers1725
CLP/3ii/14/2Diagram, wheels in motion by [John Theophilus Desaguliers][1721]
CLP/18ii/37Paper, Description of a planetarium by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1733]
CLP/18ii/42Paper, Attempt to explain the phenomenon of the horizontal moon appearing bigger than when elevated many degrees above the horizon by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1735]
CLP/18ii/4Paper, 'An experiment on steel balls made before the Royal Society' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers20 May 1714
CLP/18iiClassified papers: volume 18ii concerning 'Desaguliers papers'1714-1737
RBO/12/73'Remarks on the Invention of Telescopes' by Dr Desaguliers1726
CLP/18ii/30Paper, Observations and experiments relating to friction by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1730]
CLP/18ii/24Paper, Observations of optical experiments by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1728]
CLP/12ii/55Paper, regarding the dissolving of a stone with a plant by Michael Birmingham18 May 1738
RBO/11/79'A magnetical Experiment made by Mr William Palmer a Mechnick near York communicated by J Desaguliers'25 February 1723
CLP/18ii/6/1Manuscript, 'An account of some experiments of light and colours formerly made by the President and mention'd in his Optics, repeated before the Royal Society' by John Theoph [Theophilus] Desaguliers 24 June 1714
CLP/2/18Paper, 'Concerning the invention of telescopes' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1726]
CLP/9ii/17Paper, 'A magnetical experiment' by William Palmer25 February 1723
CLP/4i/66Paper, 'An account of an aurora borealis' by J [John] Desaguliers1723
CLP/18ii/5/2Sketch, 'Experiments to prove the first law' by [John Theophilus Desaguliers]3 June 1714
CLP/9ii/29Extract, 'From the Journal Books of the Royal Society concerning magnets having more poles than two' by John Eames with some observations by Dr [John] Desaguliers[1737?]
CLP/18ii/36Paper, Account of an instrument contrived by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers to show the different velocities of a planet or comet in its motion round the sun [1732]
CLP/18ii/5Paper, 'An account of some experiments of the congress of bodies made before the Royal Society' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers3 June 1714
CLP/18ii/5/1Manuscript, 'An account of some experiments of the congress of bodies made before the Royal Society' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers3 June 1714
CLP/18ii/35Paper, Account of an experiment contrived by Dr Gravesande, Professor at Leyden, relating to the force of moving bodies now to be shown to the Royal Society by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1732]
L&P/1/108Paper, 'Conjectures concerning electricity and the rise of vapours' by John Theophilis Desaguliers[1742]
AP/4/12/2Unpublished drawings, candle grenades by [Joseph Mead][1777]
EL/M2/68Letter, from Peter van Muschenbroek to John Theophilus Desaguliers20 July 1725
EL/D2/73Letter, from John Desaguliers to Cromwell Mortimer29 October 1733
CLP/18ii/28Paper, Observations of a crane with improvements on the machine by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1729]
EL/C2/88Paper, 'Proposals for making Anatomies of Human Bodies in coloured wax' by Abraham Chovet1732
EL/T/81Letter, from Marten Triewald to [John Theophilus] Desaguliers, dated at Stockholm20 November 1728
EL/D2/75Letter, from John Desaguliers to Cromwell Mortimer, dated at Kew13 December 1737
EL/M3/16Abstract of a letter, from Petrus van Muschenbroek to Dr J[ohn Theophilus] Desaguliers, dated at Urecht15 January 1733
CLP/18ii/6/2Sketch, window, prism, and ribbons set up for experiment by [John Theophilus Desaguliers]24 June 1714
CLP/18ii/20Paper, Details of a machine to draw damp or foul air out of mines, wells, caves etc by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers21 May 1727
RBO/11/101'An attempt to account for the rising and falling of the water of some Ponds near the Sea' by J Desaguliers1723
RBO/12/33'Account of Several Experiments concerning the running of Water in Pipes, as it is retarded by Friction and intermix'd Air some of which were made before the Royal Society on Thursday the 5th of May 1726 With a Description of a new Machine, whereby Pipes may be clear'd of Air, as the Water runs along without Stand Pipes or the help of any hand' by John Desaguliers1726
CLP/18ii/6Paper, 'An account of some experiments of light and colours formerly made by the President and mention'd in his Optics, repeated before the Royal Society' by John Theoph [Theophilus] Desaguliers 24 June 1714
CLP/3ii/14Paper, 'Remarks on some attempts made towards a perpetual motion' by Dr [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1721]
CLP/18ii/12Paper, 'Animadversions upon some experiments relating to the force of moving bodies, with two new experiments on the same subject' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/23Paper, Details of an experiment showing force of moving bodies and velocity by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1728]
CLP/17/75Paper, summary of experiments carried out by J Desaguliers from November 1729 to November 1730[1730]
CLP/7ii/4Paper, 'A dissertation concerning the figure of the Earth' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1724
CLP/18ii/39Paper, Calculation of the velocity of the air moved by the newly-invented centrifugal bellows by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1736
CLP/3ii/14/1Manuscript, 'Remarks on some attempts made towards a perpetual motion' by Dr [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1721]
CLP/18ii/45Paper, Account of some magnetical experiments by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1736
CLP/7ii/5Paper, 'A dissertation concerning the figure of the Earth. Part the second' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1725
CLP/7ii/5/1Manuscript, 'A dissertation concerning the figure of the Earth. Part the second' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1725
CLP/7ii/4/1Manuscript, 'A dissertation concerning the figure of the Earth' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1724
EL/H4/33Letter, from J Higgs to Rev [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1734
CLP/18ii/25Paper, Account of some electrical experiments by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1729]
CLP/18ii/48Paper, Account of some new statical experiments by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1737-1738]
EL/D2/72Account of different instruments presented to the Royal Society by John Theophilus DesaguliersOctober 1733 to October 1734
CLP/18ii/2Paper, 'An experiment made before the Royal Society' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers15 April 1714
L&P/1/33Paper, 'Some further observations concerning electricity' by John Theophilus Desaguliers10 December 1741
EL/T/91Letter, from Marten Triewald to John [Theophilus] Desaguliers1 November 1732
RBO/11/67'An account of an Optical Experiment' by John Desaguliers1722
RBO/12/16'An Experiment to illustrate what has been said in the Philosophical Transactions no 386, 387, 388 concerning the Figure of the Earth' by J Desaguliers1725
RBO/12/17Some experiments concerning the cohesion of two balls of lead by J Desaguliers1725
RBO/12/18'Dissertation concerning the Figure of the Earth Part 2' by J Desaguliers1725
CLP/4i/84Paper, 'Attempt to solve the phenomenon of the rise of vapours, formation of clouds and descent of rain in a letter to William Rutty from J [John Theophilus] Desaguliers' by Desaguliers1728
CLP/6/64Paper, 'A description of an engine to raise water by the help of quicksilver, invented by the late Mr Joshua Haskins; and made practicable and usefull' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers19 April 1722
RBO/12/2'A new Contrivance for taking Levels' by J Desaguliers1724
RBO/11/63'An account of Some Experiment made to prove that the force of moving Bodies is proportional to their Velocities' by John Desaguliers1722
RBO/12/8'Dissertation concerning the figure of the Earth' by J Desaguliers1724
EL/D2/71Letter, from John Desaguliers to Cromwell Mortimer, dated at Channel Row8 November 1735
CLP/18ii/7/1Manuscript, 'An account of some experiments made before the Royal Society concerning the properties of light and colours' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1714
CLP/18ii/7Paper, 'An account of some experiments made before the Royal Society concerning the properties of light and colours' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1714
CLP/18ii/7/2Diagrams, optics experiments and observations by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1714
CLP/18ii/9Paper, 'An account of an experiment made on Thursday the last day of June 1720 before the Royal Society to shew by a new proof that bodies of the same bulk do not contain equal quantities of matter, and therefore that there is an interspers'd vacuum' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1720
CLP/18ii/10Paper, 'An account of an experiment made before the Royal Society December 14 1721, to shew that when a heterogeneous body descends in a fluid with an uniform motion, the whole weight of the body is communicated to the fluid; whereby the pressure of the fluid upon any subjacent body is encreas'd, not only in proportion to its absolute weight; tho in the beginning of the fall (whilst the body was accelerating its motion) the whole weight of the body was not communicated to the fluid' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1721
CLP/18ii/10/1Manuscript, 'An account of an experiment made before the Royal Society December 14 1721, to shew that when a heterogeneous body descends in a fluid with an uniform motion, the whole weight of the body is communicated to the fluid; whereby the pressure of the fluid upon any subjacent body is encreas'd, not only in proportion to its absolute weight; tho in the beginning of the fall (whilst the body was accelerating its motion) the whole weight of the body was not communicated to the fluid' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1721
CLP/18ii/10/2Diagram, experimental apparatus by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1721
CLP/18ii/12/1Manuscript, 'Animadversions upon some experiments relating to the force of moving bodies, with two new experiments on the same subject' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/11Paper, 'An account of some experiments made to prove that the force of moving bodies is proportionable to their velocities (or rather that the momentum of moving bodies is to be found by multiplying the masses into the velocities) in answer to such who have sometime ago affirm'd, that that force is proportionable to the square of the velocity, and to those who still defend the same opinion' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/12/2Figures, experimental equipment by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/11/1Manuscript, 'An account of some experiments made to prove that the force of moving bodies is proportionable to their velocities (or rather that the momentum of moving bodies is to be found by multiplying the masses into the velocities) in answer to such who have sometime ago affirm'd, that that force is proportionable to the square of the velocity, and to those who still defend the same opinion' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/11/2Figures, experimental equipment by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/13Paper, 'An account of an optical experiment made before the Royal Society on Thursday 6 and 13 December 1722' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1722
CLP/18ii/14/2Diagrams, smallpox under a microscope by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers13 June 1723
CLP/18ii/15Paper, 'An attempt to account for the rising and falling of the water of some ponds near the sea or ebbing and flowing rivers; where the water is lowest in the pond, at the time of high water in the sea or river; and the water is highest in the pond, at the time of low water in the sea or river. As also for the increasing or decreasing of the water of such pools and brooks as are highest in the dry seasons, and lowest in the rainy seasons: with an experiment to illustrate the solution of the phaenomena' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1723
CLP/18ii/15/2Figures, observations on syphons by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1723
CLP/18ii/15/1Manuscript, 'An attempt to account for the rising and falling of the water of some ponds near the sea or ebbing and flowing rivers; where the water is lowest in the pond, at the time of high water in the sea or river; and the water is highest in the pond, at the time of low water in the sea or river. As also for the increasing or decreasing of the water of such pools and brooks as are highest in the dry seasons, and lowest in the rainy seasons: with an experiment to illustrate the solution of the phaenomena' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1723
CLP/18ii/16Paper, 'A new contrivance for taking levels' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1724
CLP/18ii/17Paper, 'Some experiments concerning the cohesion of lead by the same' by J T [John Theophilus] DesaguliersApril-May 1725
CLP/18ii/16/1Manuscript, 'A new contrivance for taking levels' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1724
CLP/18ii/16/2Figures, barometers by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers1724
CLP/18ii/14Paper, 'An account of the appearance of the matter of the small pox seen thro' a microscope' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers13 June 1723
CLP/18ii/14/1Manuscript, 'An account of the appearance of the matter of the small pox seen thro' a microscope' by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers13 June 1723
CLP/18ii/18Paper, Experiment to demonstrate the figure of the Earth as discussed in 'Philosophical Transactions', nos 386, 387 and 388 by J T [John Theophilus] Desaguliers[1725]
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